East Boys 11th at State
Kruger wins Unified State Race
Mucharsky and Todd among top-12 Girls in East State Meet History
Beautiful conditions rose over the Norris-Penrose Event Center for the Colorado State Meet on Saturday morning. For the East Angels, represented in three races, the day started well, got even better, and crescendoed in a championship as the sun reached its zenith.
The 5A Girls were the first race of the day, and East was represented by underclassmen stars Rosie Mucharsky and Grace Todd. Mucharsky, the DPS League champion and Region 3 runner-up, positioned herself well for a top-10 finish, coming through the first mile in 5:49 and the second mile in 12:06. The ninth grader would hang on for a 14th place finish (and 3rd among all freshman) in 18:45. Mucarsky’s finish is the 2nd best finish by an East Girl in school history, only behind Lillie Toaspern’s 12th place finish in 2007. Sophomore Todd bided her time through the first mile, coming through in 6:34 and 104th. The Norris-Penrose course will generally award such patience, as the hills come in the 2nd mile; Todd’s patience paid off as she moved up to 84th by the 2-mile mark and finished a strong 69th place in 20:22 – this ties her for 12th among the top finishes at State Meet for East Girls all time. (The team archivist is pretty sure, if not certain, about these records.)
A year ago, the East Boys finished a distant 7th at the regional meet and did not have a single boy who broke 17 minutes for 5K for the season and only three runners who broke 18 minutes. But the 2021 version of East Boys Cross Country was a team that had shown State Meet aspirations beginning at the opening time trial of the season and now showcases three boys who have broken 17 minutes and an additional six who have broken 18 minutes. The Angel Boys Team that toed the line at this year’s State Meet featured exactly zero boys with any State Meet experience but proved to be ready for the moment. “This race rewards runners who run the first mile smartly” had been the coaches’ mantra prior to the meet, and the East Boys proved to be one of the smartest teams on the course. At the mile mark, East was in 18th place with 432 points with senior Eamon Nussbaum (89th, 5:34) and juniors Quinn Higgins (93rd, 5:35) Ian Logan (98th, 5:38) leading the way, followed closely by freshman Jonas Scudamore (5:40, 103rd), sophomore Ben Hopper (5:41, 105th), and seniors David Anderson (5:42, 11th) and Jack Kriekels (5:46, 119th). By the 2-mile mark Higgins had moved to 46th (11:16), Nussbaum to 50th (11:17), Logan to 73rd (11:28), Anderson to 102nd (11:44), Scudamore to 103rd (11:44), Kriekels 108th (11:47) and Hopper to 114th (11:50), putting the Angels in 15th, having shed nearly 100 points over the second mile. But the Angels were far from done moving their way up the field as Higgins, Nussbaum, Logan, Anderson, Kriekels, Hopper and Scudamore eventually stormed into the rodeo stadium to claim 35th, 41st, 71st, 92nd, 105th, 108th, and 110th respectively to claim an 11th place team finish with 301 points. Only twice in the last 20 years has an East Cross Country team finished better (2012 – 5th place Boys; 2017 – 8th place Girls). Individually, only two East boys have finished better than Higgins and Nussbaum in the last eight years, while Scudamore’s finish was 6th of all freshman boys in 5A..
Over the last four years, senior Charlie Kruger has been a constant pillar on Denver East Cross Country. Nobody had been to more practices, gone on more runs, or competed in more races. If you have been around the team the last four years and failed to learn something about running and being a teammate from Kruger, you haven’t been paying attention. In 2020, Kruger’s 11th place (18:22) finish at the DPS League Varsity Championship was key to East securing the team title, and in 2021 his 9th place finish in the JV race was crucial to securing that team title. For most of 2021, Kruger was just outside the Varsity 7, but he would get his chance at the 2021 State Meet his senior year in the Unified Championship, the third and final race in which East would be represented. In front of a frenzied crowd of teammates, coaches, family and friends, Kruger ran to a decisive win in the 1.7 mile race with a winning time of 10:50 and a 17 second margin of victory. It was a fitting highlight on top of a fantastic day and season for Angel Cross Country.
In order for us to provide uniforms for next year’s team, we must receive every uniform back. If you haven’t already, please return your uniform after school today (2:10pm) in the counseling center. We received two uniforms yesterday that were dropped off without names and we have no idea who checked them out. Even if you give your uniform to Kohuth, you must pin your name on it with a safety pin so we can check it in properly. Thank you!